Seasonal Plant Care: Summer
As the seasons change, your plant’s needs will too. Indoor plants are impacted by the outdoor climatic changes, so we’ll be talking about all things summer and how you should care for your plants as the temperature rises.
Who doesn’t love summer? Light-filled days, beautiful nights, a time to take it easy. We’re also drinking tons more water and applying plenty of SPF. Did you know plants can suffer from dehydration and sunburn too? Just like spring, summer is a growing season for houseplants. Adjusting water, light and changing up their scenery can help our plants have the best summer ever.
Keep it Quenched
Pretty solid advice for every living thing. In summer, you’ll likely be watering your houseplants more often than in the other seasons. Wilting and leaf curling are obvious signs that your plant needs more water. Water plants in the early morning or evening when the sun is at a lower intensity to avoid plant burn and water evaporation. You can help plants retain moisture by adding rocks or mulch on top of the soil. Group similar plants together and mist them with filtered water to increase the humidity levels, unless of course your plants like it hot and dry.
Here are a few of our picks that will help make your plant watering a breeze:
Hot or Not
It’s sunny and it’s hot. If your plant is in a spot that gets intense sunlight, consider drawing a sheer curtain over the window. You can also move your plants away from the direct light. If your plants are light-lovers, go ahead and leave them right where they are.
Rotate your plants once a week so each side gets equal sun exposure. This will help prevent them from leaning over in an effort to gain even light exposure. Unsure if the light your plant is getting is too hot? Place your hand under the light during the middle of the day. If it feels a bit too warm for you, it’s likely too hot for your plant. Desert plants like cacti and a few succulent varieties are an exception to this.
Cool it on the A/C
Of course we to want to feel a refreshing blast of cool air when we step in from the heat. For our plant babies, it's best to avoid leaving the A/C on or set the room temperature a little higher when you’re not home. Your plants will be happier and you’ll save some money on your energy bill. As a general rule, keep plants away from the icy air of an A/C unit. Cacti and succulents like it hot and dry, so A/C is just the opposite of their ideal environment. Most indoor houseplants come from tropical environments so they thrive when it's warm and humid. You can increase humidity levels by grouping like-plants together, or move them to your bathroom or kitchen where it gets steamy. Alternatively, you can use a humidifier to keep the environment more stable.
Prune any dying or unnecessary foliage that will otherwise be prone to infections and pests. Keep in mind that you can leave slightly lackluster leaves alone as your plant might be re-absorbing the nutrients before dropping them. Be sure to clear any debris like dropped leaves that pile up on top of the soil as decaying leaves can attract pests.
If you forgot to fertilize in the spring, then summer is your best chance to make it up. It's very important for the long-term health of your plant. Choose a fertilizer that has a NPK ratio. N for nitrogen, P for phosphorus and K for potassium are the three most important nutrients that plants need. Another option is to use Joyful Dirt, which is a great organic fertilizer that enhances plant growth, disease resistance and improves overall health. Just simple sprinkle on the soil once a month and water. If your plant is unhealthy, use it every time you water to get it back into shape.
The Great Outdoors
It’s no fun to stay inside during the summer, and plants can benefit from a little outdoors time too. Start by placing them a shady spot, then gradually move to a place with a bit more light, but you still want to avoid direct sunlight. A shady spot outside is like the sunniest spot inside. Changing weather, like dry spells or heavy rains, will impact how often you should water. When you do water, aim for early in the morning or in the evening when the sun isn't as strong. If there’s been a lot of rain, hold back on watering and definitely make sure your planters have drainage. In the intense heat of summer, you could be watering every day, up to twice a day on those particularly sweltering days. To protect plant from heat stress, you might want to bring your plants indoors or move them to a place with full shade outdoors.
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